Opportunities in the IT sector should hopefully benefit from a recent influx of funds. At the beginning of May, the LEP released their plan to help businesses grow and create new jobs. Yet at the same time, UK research shows financial support may not be the only strategy needed to help businesses.
Help is being offered to a number of small and medium sized companies in science, infrastructure and technology. The appropriately named Jobs & Growth Plan was published by the London Enterprise Panel, providing £40 million in funds in support.
The Mayor of London; Boris Johnson announced ‘My top priority is to get London’s economy moving and create jobs. Harnessing the expertise of the London Enterprise Panel, we have taken a forensic look at what type of support is needed to oil the wheels of enterprise in this city. Today’s fund, which will enable significant support for small and medium businesses, is just one way we are working to unlock potential and provide jobs for our growing city. I look forward to collaborating with the LEP as we champion further ways to ensure London retains its competitive edge among world cities.’
Companies recognise the value of a skilled potential employee. To help these businesses find the right person for the job, the government is investing in training programmes while funding existing firms.
REC, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, has issued its latest job report, showing those with IT careers to be at the highest demand for the second month in a row. The report also confirms the importance of trained individuals for the IT industry.
“Recruiters report that businesses are willing to pay better starting salaries to get the right talent but are struggling to find people with the right skills and experience as candidate availability declines,” comments Kevin Green, REC chief executive, “It’s a worrying trend that is particularly problematic across IT and engineering and at senior levels in other sectors. Persistent skills shortages in these areas could have a disastrous impact on critical infrastructure projects, especially if employers can’t find the talent they need to jump-start new ventures in energy, transport and construction.”
This change in the focus and employment needs for organisations is reiterated by a UK Skills and Employment study at the Institute of Education. The report shows a record high for people employed in graduate jobs, in particular compared to unskilled jobs. The Economic and Social Research Council and the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, funded the research to survey 3000 people.
Director of education and skills at CBI, Neil Carberry, provided his views on the survey; “The vast majority of young people in future are going to need a route to higher skills if the UK is going to compete globally. The changing face of the economy means that we have to expand alternative routes to higher skills alongside traditional residential university courses. Even below degree level, addressing the shortage of skilled technicians we face will require better-quality courses, with a strong role for businesses working with universities, colleges and providers to design the curriculum.”
There can be no doubt that the LEP’s fund is good news. Yet to keep the IT sector growing and improving, equal attention must be paid to the employers and employees alike.